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International Trade

International trade is the buying and selling of goods and services between members of different countries. This exchange has been a key part of the Canadian economy since the first settlers came. Canadian settlers depended on exports of resources such as timber and grain (see Timber Trade History; Wheat). In the 20th century, Canada’s exports shifted to services, manufactured goods and commodities such as oil and metals.

Since the 1980s, Canada has signed free trade agreements with dozens of countries to increase global trade and investment.

Canada’s three biggest trading partners are the United States, the European Union and China. The United States is Canada largest trading partner by far. However, trade with China grew quickly in the 2010s, and this trend will likely continue.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Exports from Canada

Exports are goods or services that residents of one country sell to residents of another country. Since its earliest days, Canada’s economic prosperity has relied on exports to larger markets; first through its colonial ties to Britain and later due to its geographic proximity to the United States. Billions of dollars of goods and services cross Canada’s border each year. (See International Trade.) Exports make up about a third of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2019, Canadians exported $729 billion worth of goods and services. Almost 75 per cent of Canada’s total exports go to the United States. (See Canada-US Economic Relations.) Other major markets include the European Union, China and Japan.

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Print Industry

Prior to the printing process of putting impressions on paper, foil, plastic or cloth, there are pre-press procedures such as design, artwork, layout, creation of type or graphics, film and platemaking, and press makeready. In the past all these processes were done by hand or camera.

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Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks (formerly the Edmonton Football Team, or EE Football Team, and the Edmonton Eskimos) is a community-owned football team that plays in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In the CFL’s modern era (post-Second World War), the team has won the second-most Grey Cup championships (14). This included three victories in a row from 1954 to 1956 and an unprecedented five straight championships from 1978 to 1982. The club also holds the North American professional sports record for reaching the playoffs in 34 consecutive seasons (1972–2005). Notable alumni include former Alberta premiers Peter Lougheed and Don Getty, former lieutenant-governor of Alberta Norman Kwong, former Edmonton mayor Bill Smith, and former NFL star Warren Moon.

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Imports to Canada

In international trade, imports refer to goods and services purchased by Canadian residents from residents of other countries. Billions of dollars of goods and services cross Canada’s border each year. In 2019, Canadians imported a total of $768 billion worth of goods and services. Canada’s largest source of imports by far is the United States. (See Canada-US Economic Relations.) The European Union, China and Mexico are also major sources of imported goods and services.

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TC Energy (formerly TransCanada)

TC Energy Corporation (formerly TransCanada Corporation) is a natural gas, oil and power-generation company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. TC Energy owns more than 92,600 km of natural gas pipeline in North America and transports more than 25 per cent of the gas consumed on the continent. It also operates power plants and gas storage facilities. A public company, it trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TRP. In 2018, TC Energy registered $13.7 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in profit and held $98.9 billion in assets. The company employs about 7,300 people, more than half of them in Canada.

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Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL was a proposed 1,947 km long pipeline project that would have carried crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. It was owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation. The pipeline was named XL for “export limited.” First proposed in July 2008, it was the prospective fourth phase of TC Energy’s existing Keystone Pipeline system. In Canada, Keystone XL had the support of both the federal and Alberta governments. However, the project faced significant opposition and legal challenges on environmental grounds. In January 2021, United States president Joe Biden cancelled its permit on his first day in office. On 9 June 2021, TC Energy and the Alberta government announced the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Roots Canada

Roots Corporation (better known as Roots or Roots Canada) is a publicly traded retail clothing business. It was co-founded by fashion designers and businessmen Michael Budman and Don Green, both from Detroit, Michigan. Budman and Green first met in 1962, when they were attending Camp Tamakwa in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Following their graduation from Michigan State University, Budman moved to Canada in 1969 and Green followed a few years later in 1972. In 1973, Budman and Green began production of their version of the “negative heel” shoe — the first product sold under the Roots brand. That same year, on 15 August, the duo opened their first store in Toronto. Inspired by their early years at Algonquin Park, Budman and Green quickly made Roots, with its beaver logo and cottage feel, an iconic Canadian brand. In 2015, Budman and Green sold a majority stake to Searchlight Capital Partners, though the founders remain prominent shareholders. In October 2017, Roots made its initial public offering (IPO) in Canada, trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ROOT.

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ACTRA

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, better known as ACTRA, is the union that represents performers in Canada’s English-language radio, television and film industries. Through its Performers’ Rights Society, it secures and disburses use fees, royalties, residuals and all other forms of performers’ compensation. Some of ACTRA's other activities include administering health insurance and retirement plans for its 22,000 members, negotiating and administering collective agreements, minimum rates and working conditions, lobbying for Canadian content and a strong Canadian production industry, and promoting and celebrating Canadian talent.

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Advertising

 The first formal advertisement in Canada was an offer of butter for sale that appeared in 1752 in an official government publication called the Halifax Gazette. In 1764 the Québec Gazette (later renamed the Chronicle-Telegraph) was founded, as much to carry news of merchandise as events.

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Meat-Processing Industry

Canada's slaughtering and meat-processing sector comprises livestock slaughter and carcass dressing, secondary processors that manufacture and package meat products for retail sale, and purveyors that prepare portion-ready cuts for hotel, restaurant and institutional food service.

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Media Ownership

Western societies are relying increasingly on communication through various media and relatively less on face-to-face contact to organize and co-ordinate activities, to disseminate knowledge and information, to educate and entertain.

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Movement of Dangerous Goods

Some materials and products that move by rail, ship, air or highway within Canada or across our national boundaries are classified as dangerous goods because they are flammable, explosive, toxic or potentially harmful to people or the ENVIRONMENT. Until 1985 their movement was not well regulated.

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Bookselling

The earliest booksellers in Canada were Jean Seto and Joseph Bargeas, who in the 1840s and 1850s operated out of Montréal, importing books "for the gentry, the merchants, and the garrison: that is, a small middle and upper-middle-class readership.

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Les Éditions Jacques Ostiguy Inc

Les Éditions Jacques Ostiguy Inc. Music publishing firm founded in 1978 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que, by Jacques and Claudette Ostiguy. A large section of the catalogue, which numbered 24 entries in 1990, is devoted to works for organ by Canadian composers, a collection directed by Lucien Poirier.

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Craft Brewing in Canada

​Prior to the First World War, Canada boasted 117 independent breweries. But by the early 1980s, just 10 brewing companies remained in Canada — and the three largest, Molson, Labatt and Carling O’Keefe — owned 96 per cent of the market.